The eight generation Rolls-Royce Phantom was released last summer. I spotted it at the HR Owen dealership in Mayfair, London. It is not very common to see a new Phantom. The previous generation was revealed in 2002 and it has taken 15 years to create the new generation. Unlike the last time, Rolls-Royce has designed its own modular platform that will be used in future Rolls-Royce models, starting with the Cullinan SUV.
Despite the in-house modular platform, the engine, the gearbox and the driving assistance systems are from BMW!
Although we don’t really associate Rolls-Royce with the word ‘light’, the new Phantom is lighter and stronger than past models. However, don’t expect a full carbon-fibre body. There are some cool features as well. The Magic Carpet Ride is something unique to the Phantom. Stereo cameras scan the road surface and adjust the suspension to correct for road imperfections up to 100 km/h. Bear in mind though, the Audi A8 and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class offer similar systems, and they keep working at higher speeds.
In case you are looking for an ultra-silent car, the new Phantom houses more than 130-kg of sound insulation. Even the tyres are designed with a ‘Silent Seal’ thanks to Continental, and they reduce tyre noise by 9db!
The Gallery on the dashboard is a great piece of design. However, only the front passenger can enjoy the view of The Gallery!
The interior is massive, I can’t even describe it in words. It is really really large. And this massive interior is combined with a massive exterior. This Phantom is really really tall. When you compare with other ‘large’ cars, they look like a MINI next to the new Phantom. If you wish to tell people that you have made it, the new Phantom is the answer.
Lastly, I really like the electrically-closing doors. Now you can just touch a button and the door closes.
The new Rolls-Royce Phantom is available now! It is larger than ever and is a statement vehicle rather than a motor vehicle. It is the pinnacle of the luxury motoring experience and also it is heavy. The eighth Rolls-Royce Phantom is not something you usually spot on the road. It is not like any other Phantom ever built. Therefore, it is important to hold an exhibition for new Rolls-Royce Phantom and narrate its heritage, so you will understand why the eighth Phantom is like this.
The Great Eight Phantoms
New Bond Street, Mayfair in London, houses the world’s most expensive luxury brands. It is not a very long street, but the products that are sold there can freeze your brain. Why have I told you about New Bond Street? Bonhams is on New Bond Street and there is a Rolls-Royce exhibition in Bonhams featuring the Great Eight Phantoms. Rolls-Royce and Bonhams jointly celebrate the birth of the eight Phantom with a very special exhibition. Don’t worry, it is not bling, or you will not end up with Kim Kardashian’s Rolls-Royce Ghost.
There are seven Rolls-Royce Phantoms at the exhibition with unique touches from their era or from their owners. When you enter the Bonhams, you will be welcomed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Phantom VI. It is one of a kind, designed to offer an exceptional viewing experience due to its a raised roof. This car is still in use and you have probably seen it in London.
The second Phantom is the Field Marshal Montgomery Phantom III and also inherits the Black Badge (Rolls-Royce’s branding for the sportier version used up to the present day). It was used after the WWII and offers an exceptional design with an aerodynamic approach. As I heard from the Bonham team, this car was the centre of most of the attention. When you look at the photos, you will understand what I mean.
The next Phantom is John Lennon’s Phantom V. It is colourful and big. Really really big! Literally, John Lennons’s Phantom is larger than a flat in central London. The colour harmony of this Phantom is a great visual experience.
The next one is the Aga Khan III Phantom IV. It is green, very green, but I don’t think it will get an A rating for fuel consumption. The harmonic lines of the exterior design transports you into a different time.
The next car is from the 1920s, the era when the car designer never considered the need for a space in the form of a boot space, the Fred Astaire Phantom I. When you look at the rear of this exciting Phantom, you will see bespoke Louis Vuitton luggage sitting there without any protection. Just exposed to real-life conditions. Off-the-topic, if you wish to buy the same luggage now, just go back to New Bond Street and turn right and walk for 10 minutes. You will end up at the Louis Vuitton store on the left-hand side. There you will find the most unergonomic traditional luggage that will not fit into any car’s boot space. Back to the Phantom. The beauty of the 1920’s Phantom is the beauty of the transition period moving from horse carriages to motor vehicles. The steering-wheel is not designed to protect you in a crash and there are more adjustments than a Honda Jet, just to keep the petrol engine running. The Honda Jet offers a very simplified cockpit design and yes, Honda makes private jets.
The Sir Malcolm Campbell Phantom II belongs to the era of speed and yes, Rolls-Royce can travel at high speeds and stay in one piece, unlike Ferraris. That’s what I like about the Rolls-Royce, they don’t fall apart if you push them to the limits. Try this with a Ferrari and you will end up in the nearest Fiat service garage. Also, it is the foundation for the Waterspeed model.
The last Phantom is the previous generation Phantom VII that is available for you to see on the road. However, this one is the first Phantom from 2003. It is the first one that came out of the factory. It is slightly smaller than the rest of the other Phantoms and it has been in production for 14 years! Usually, European cars have a product lifecycle of seven years, just do the maths! Also, the last Phantom made the Mercedes-Benz Maybach go out of production. The Maybach was a disaster since it was first revealed, while the Phantom made things go faster. The existing Maybach range is produced under the Mercedes-Benz brand like the AMG.
Finally, the eighth Phantom is on the lower ground floor (-2). It is big, it is really really big, and you will not notice the size thanks to the Bonhams’ setting and the crown above it. Also, the black colour of the interior of the venue makes the Phantom look tiny. However, this car is massive, and when you see it on the road, you will have to adjust your brain to take in its size. This Phantom is a statement car. If you have it, the whole world will know that you have the money and definitely you are not a shareholder of Facebook, Apple or Google.
The eighth Phantom is a great car, in that the engineering and the attention to detail are far beyond that found in previous generations. I did my best to find mistakes but couldn’t find any, except the rear seats. They can’t turn into a bed like in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class Maybach. However, you can sit in a very relaxing position where you will fall asleep, while the super thick carpet swallows your shoes and all your feet. Also, this Phantom is one of the most silent cars on the market, even the tyres are uniquely designed for the Phantom by Continental. If you have a close look, you will see they look a bit awkward. This is because they are designed to reduce noise rather than improve the handling. As a result of the super silence and softness of the seats and the carpets, your passengers will easily fall asleep.
As far as the interior is concerned, I can’t ignore the dashboard gallery! There is an art gallery on the dashboard. It was my idea actually. However, I never managed to say it out loud. Once I mentioned it on my blog and Rolls-Royce now offers various types of art work for your dashboard, designed by inspirational artists. However, if you wish to ruin the dashboard with your personal art taste, Rolls-Royce lets you do it. Usually, my taste is the best statement that such an approach ends up terribly wrong. If you can afford to buy a Rolls-Royce Phantom this does not mean that you are a distant relative of Leonardo Da Vinci. Therefore, your taste in art would not offer something unique or something extraordinary.
Anyway, the Bonhams exhibition is available until this coming Wednesday (It is finished now). Go and visit. If you have missed it, I have the photos. The eighth Rolls-Royce Phantom is a great car with a huge heart. Yes, it is big.